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Taiwan Church News
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Taiwan Church News

3269 Editions

October 20 - October 26, 2014

Obituary News

 

 

Taiwan: Whose Country? Whose History? - Two Giant Taiwanese Historians Are Remembered For Their Outstanding Achievement And Passion To Build Up A Taiwanese Subject With Historical Visions

 

 

Written by Wang Chao-wen

 

 

In the fall of 2014, two giant Taiwanese historians were unfortunately passed away: Academia Sinica academician Ts'ao Yung-ho died on September 12, due to an old age at 94 years old; Professor Chang Yen-hsien, 67 years old, died on October 3 due to a sudden heart attack during his oral history investigation for 228 Massacre in 1947 en route at Philadelphia, USA.

 

 

Ts'ao Yung-ho is an autodidact and polygot in many languages, including Taiwanese, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, English, German, Dutch, French, Spain, Portuguese and Latin. In 1939, Ts'ao failed his university entrance, but he undauntedly worked hard to get a job as a librarian at Taihoku Imperial University, now Taiwan University, which gave him access to a huge range of materials he would have never seen otherwise. He also studied with Professor Iwao Seiichi to read the archived material from the Dutch Formosa era. And this pioneering Dutch documents mining from a Taiwanese point of view prepared him to earn international academic recognition afterwards.

 

 

Within an interview in 1990s, Ts'ao proposed a concept of "Historical Perspective of Taiwan Island", stressing the study of Taiwan history should jump out the bondages imposed by the perspective of Chinese(Han)-historiography. Instead of being limited by the Chinese-center perspective, Ts'ao suggested future historians should focus kinds of histories, e.g. ethnological, cultural, linguistics and etc, running on this Taiwan island from primordial times. And this epoch breaking proposal had a great impact for the historians working for next generations.

 

 

Chang Yen-Hsien, a PhD of historiography from famous Tokyo University, concentrated his scholarly efforts to build up "Taiwan Subjective" and "Taiwanese Consciousness". His deemed the research within official archives as insufficient. He once said the historian could certainly found some policy decision or political mechanism within the dusty archives, yet such studies were formal and even superficial. They can not touch the real intentions and emotions of common people's mind. So, it is why Chang insist to do the oral history investigation, especially on oral historical reconstruction of the 228 Massacre in 1947, anticipating to carry on the tradition of Taiwanese resistance to the injustice and restore back the historical justice to the victims of 228 Massacre victims and the related sufferers.

 

 

It is a very sad news that these two giants of Taiwan historiography had left us consecutively in the fall of 2014. We believe their excellent works will keep encouraging the heart of Taiwan society. And now, it is our business to carry on their good job!

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 
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Taiwan Church News

3269 Edition

October 20 - October 26, 2014

Headline News

 

 

Against Vote Buying: Don't Sell Out Our Children For Money

 

 

Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

 

On October 18 at Suang-lien Presbyterian Church, a conference, titled - "No Vote Buying To Purify Election; Realize The Kingdom Of God To Strengthen Democracy", is held by Church and Society Committee of three PCT presbyteries: Chi-hsin, Taipei and Hsin-chu, discussing about how people should act against the vote buying in the impending Taiwan super-election due at November 29.

 

 

Why the church should stand against vote buying practice in Taiwan election? Rev. Cheng Kyo-chung, pastor of North Gate Presbyterian Church and former member of parliament, laments some church elders indeed ignorantly bought votes for particular parties in the past elections, even though it is usually deemed inappropriate within majority church community. Rev. Cheng solemnly says, based on biblical teachings: man has dignity and human rights, once we sell our vote for temporary profits, it equals to betrays the well-beings of our future generations.

 

 

Rev. Shen Jun-chen, pastor of Ton Ming Presbyterian Church in Keelung City, comments with strong evidence that KMT(the Chines Nationalist Party) in his parish has already consolidated her voters by whatever necessary means, be it economical benefits or anything related short-term interests, even long before the election takes off officially. The church has not only to advise her members refrain from any vote buying, but should positively act to stop the unlawful, said Rev. Shen.

 

 

Rev. Cheng Jeng-ho, pastor of Tong Shau Presbyterian Church, said he was once warned by his KMT-inclined congregation members: better not to talk about politics on the pulpit, as everything should be compliant to the law. But, law of what? criticized Rev. Cheng. Don't they know Jesus was crucified according to the laws set up by contemporary Roman empire and Jewish Sanhedrin? "Church should proclaim the truth based on the Bible, not from the human laws", stressed Rev. Cheng.

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

"No Vote Buying To Purify Election; Realize The Kingdom Of God To Strengthen Democracy", three Church and Society Committee of PCT presbyteries urges Taiwan church and the public to refrain from selling vote in the impending super-election due at the end of November, 2014.

 

Photo by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3269 Edition

October 20 - October 26, 2014

Church Ministry

 

 

Rev. John And Gwenyth Haspels, PC(USA) Missionary Couple, Attacked By Armed Bandit In Ethiopian Mission Ministry

 

 

Reported by Chang Hsun-Yi

 

 

On October 1, Rev. John and Gwenyth Haspels, were attacked by armed bandit on their way to a new site in Moga, where they would build the house for the Baale people. Gwenyth got several shots in her jaw; John's left eye was seriously hit. After the shooting violence, John drove 4 hours in pain with badly wounded Gwenyth reaching the hospital in Aman. After a preliminary medical check , they were arranged to send to South Africa for further treatment and operation. Before their leaving Ethiopia, about 1,000 local people flooded into the capital airport with dancing and prayers to say goodbye and expressed thanksgiving for their wonderful service for decades. Now, John's left eye needs a further operation, it is hopeful to recover his sight. As to critically wounded Gwenyth, she needs more operations to recover.

 

 

This is a brave missionary story that Rev. Hunter Farrell, Director of Presbyterian World Mission, shares with the congregation members of Tsu-kwan Presbyterian Church in Tayal Presbytery on October 14, when he pays a visit there together with Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong, PCT General secretary. Reminding the biggest challenge to world mission is the shortage of ecumenical vision, Rev. Farrell asked PCT brothers and sisters to pray, donate and act for Rev. John and Gwenyth in their recovery.

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

On October 1, Rev. John and Gwenyth Haspels were attacked by armed bandit and seriously injured on their missionary service to a new site in Moga, Ethiopia.

They have served for Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) as PC(USA) missionary co-workers for 40 years.

 

Photo by PC(USA) World Mission Agency

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3269 Edition

October 20 - October 26, 2014

Church Ministry

 

 

A Wonderful Reunion Of PCT And PC(USA) After A Decade, Reaching An MoU On Mission And Ministry

 

 

Reported by Simon Lin from Hsin-chu and Lin Yi-ying from Taipei

 

 

Due to a series of personnel change and organization adjustment, PC(USA) had not been able to keep an official contact with PCT for a decade long. Yet from October 10 to 15, a historic Mission Cooperative Conference between PC(USA) and PCT is held at Hsin-chu, reaching an MoU(Memorandum of Understanding) in order to further mutual understanding and initiate future cooperation on mission and ministry.

 

 

To express PCT's remembrance and thanksgiving to the generous favor and support of PC(USA) since 1949, Rev. Lo Reng-quei, Moderator of PCT General Assembly, together with Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong, PCT General Secretary, present the PCT Hymnal(Sèng si) to Rev. Roger Dermody, Deputy Executive Director for Mission, and Rev. Hunter Farrell, Director of World Mission within Presbyterian Mission Agency of PC(USA).

 

 

Why PCT treasures her relationship with PC(USA) so much and PC(USA) also very much care about this Mission Cooperative Conference? Rev. Lyim explains, it is due to PC(USA) and PCT has a very close and cooperative relationship from 1949 up to now: financially, PC(USA) had helped to financed many PCT institutes for evangelical mission, be it current PCT General Assembly building, Taichung Missionary Center, land and property in Yuli of Huan-lien County, Aboriginal College Student Center or the Laymen Building in the Presbyterian Bible College; politically, when the China Christian Council(CCC) wanted to enter World Church Council(WCC) in 1990s, PC(USA) resolutely spoke for Taiwan and unflinchingly rejected China's nonsensical request to exclude PCT from WCC as a pre-condition of entrance; practically and demographically, now PC(USA) has 45 Taiwanese churches as her member congregation, a future cooperation on mission and ministry is therefore on agenda. In addition, many PC(USA) missionaries in Taiwan, like Rev. John McCall, Rev. Lin Chun-tsu and Rev. Jonathan Setz, whose missionary enthusiasm and contribution to Taiwan church is tremendous.

 

 

Before starting the official mission cooperative conference, representing members of PC(USA) are arranged to visited 5 PCT churches among different presbytery: Tayal, Hakka and Tainan. Rev. Hunter Farrell expresses his appreciation for PCT's hospitality. He said, from his childhood on, so many wonderful stories about missionary working at Taiwan had been heard yet could never be glimpsed, now his dream comes true with his personal witness.

 

 

During the mission conference, PCT committees share their ministries and relate their progress on the "One Leads One, New Doubling Mission Movement". Rev. Roger Dermody introduces current PC(USA) mission movement, 1001 New Worshiping Communities(1001 NWC), which since 2012 encourages each presbytery to establish 1001 new worshiping communities, inviting the youth, new immigrant and minority usually not reachable by the extant church. The place of congregation can be cafe shop, gymnasium, theater or any place people feel proper. Now, PC(USA) has established 237 NWC across the United States.


 

Evangelist Yeh Ching-an, Secretary of PCT Ecumenical and International Committee, stresses within his PCT ecumenical ministry report that it is not PCT policy to transgress into partner church's diocese to build up her own denominational regime or impact. Before launching into any ecumenical mission, PCT would always respect partner church's establishment and sovereignty to propose joint mission or theological education project. In other words, PCT would do her ecumenical mission only under a request from her partner church.

 

 

Rev. Farrell responds that he wish to confirm first if PCT has the same mission vision and enthusiasm like PC(USA)? This is because the budget of World Mission of PC(USA) account for 5% within Presbyterian Mission Agency; and only one-fifth of this 5% budget, i.e. 1%, would invest into Asia area. So, this money should be spent at the most needed people and place. This is the reasons why this Mission Cooperative Conference needs to be held seriously to seek a consensus. Rev. Farrell leads all the conference to pray, and then set up the procedures and ministry items for sub-group discussions.

 

 

Through many earnest prayers among the conference attenders and diligently mediated by Rev. John McCall,  PCT and PC(USA) finally reached an MoU as follows:

 

On Mission Ministry

Regarding "One Leads One, New Doubling Mission Movement" and "1001 New Worshiping Communities", PCT and PC(USA) wish to share these missionary resources and ideas, and engage a joint research. Both churches would also push "the third party ministry", which is less mentioned in PCT, referring to a joint mission in the third country or a joint cooperation with Yukon presbytery of PC(USA) to serve the aboriginal in Alaska.

 

On Church and Society Ministry

PCT and PC(USA) will carry on current cooperation framework of international emergency rescue, like the joint casualties relief effort after Haiyen Typhoon in Philippine; social justice issues in the aboriginal people, land justice and human rights will also be developed further.

 

On Women Ministry

Current partnership in women ministry and the related education materials and biblical translation will be strengthened.

 

On Ethnic Minority Ministry

A cultural exchange program and partnership blueprint between Taiwan aboriginal church and American ethnic minority church will be outlined to facilitate a common growth.

 

On Youth Ministry

Encourage PC(USA) youth to take part into PCT's Ecumenical Youth Exchange Program(EYEP), or arrange some voluntary college youth from both PCT and PC(USA) to the third country and engage with international aid and casualties relief work.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

After a decade, PCT and PC(USA) holds a reunion Mission Cooperative Conference at Hsin-chu from October 10 to 15, 2014.

 

Photo by Lin Yi-yin

 

To express PCT's remembrance and thanksgiving to the generous favor and support of PC(USA) since 1949, Rev. Lo Reng-quei, Moderator of PCT General Assembly, together with Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong, PCT General Secretary, present the PCT Hymnal(Sèng si) to Rev. Roger Dermody, Deputy Executive Director for Mission, and Rev. Hunter Farrell, Director of World Mission within Presbyterian Mission Agency of PC(USA).

 

Photo by Simon Lin


 
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Taiwan Church News

3268 Edition

October 13 - October 19, 2014

Church Ministry News

 

 

"Too Much Doubt, Too Little Justice" - Cheng Hsing-tse, A Death Row Inmate, Is Pleaded Innocent By Human Rights Groups And Thousands of Facebook Check-In

 

 

Reported By Hwang Yi-lek

 

 

In the evening on January 5th 2002, Cheng Hsing-tse went with his friend Lo Wu-hsiung and others to have fun in a KTV restaurant, located in Taichung. As Lo was unsatisfied that KTV waitress were not enough to serve them, he furiously pulled out his gun and fired 4 shots to demonstrate his anger. Later the police of Fon-yuan county, rushed to the site to deal this event, yet unfortunately detective Su Hsien-pi was got 3 shots to death during the fire exchange with Lo. And Lo was also killed within the shooting spree.

 

 

Cheng Hsing-tse was arrested then immediately. Witnessed by two persons at the site and his own confession made in the police station, Cheng was charged as the only homicide suspect of the police detective based on the assertion, after he was gunned down, that detective Su Hsien-pi was further shot twice by Cheng. In the following legal lawsuits, all three witness, including Cheng himself, retracted their testimony claiming it is due to a police torture. But, the Supreme Court did not accept three witness' draw back of their testimony. Cheng Hsing-tse was finall rendered a death sentence in 2006.

 

 

In the past 12 years, many human rights groups have strongly pleaded for Cheng's innocence, including Amnesty International, Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty, Taiwan Association for Innocence, Judicial Reform Foundation and etc, as there is too much doubt and too little justice in Taiwan's legal system to question the legal adequacy and reasonableness of Cheng's self-confession under a police torture and physical abuse. Cheng's case was submitted twice to Supreme Prosecutors Offices but thrown back by the former notoriously law-transgressing Prosecutor-General Hwang Shih-ming. Now Cheng's case was accepted by the new Preosecutor-General Yen Da-ho, who had pleaded an extraordinary appeal to The Supreme Court in September 2014.

 

 

To attract more people's attention to Cheng's case under an illegal torture and physical abuse, especially he has been jailed for 12 years as a death row inmate and desperately yearning for freedom, about 8 civil groups launch the campaign: Bring Cheng Hsing-tse To Play Down The Road, encouraging people to check in at Facebook on every site they play, eat and travel during the long vacation from October 10th to 12th. To everybody's surprise, just within 3 days holidays, check in numbers as friends of Cheng exponentially increased up to the limit set by Facebook at 5,000. It witnessed the warmth and concern of Taiwan society and reminded us God's compassion toward the prisoner in death row in the psalms.

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

People can find more information on Cheng Hsing-tse's blog site: toomuchdoubt-cheng.blogspot.tw, and petition for Cheng's innocence could be signed on line.

 

Photo of Cheng's blog

 
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Taiwan Church News

3268 Edition

October 13 - October 19, 2014

Headline News

 

 

Taiwan Society Blockade Ting Hsin International Group In An Fury About Adulterated Cooking Oil Scandal

 

 

Reported by Chen Yi-hsuan

 

 

"No buy and no use of any product from Ting Hsin International Group(THIG)", including Wei Chuan Food Company's products, Linfenying Milk, Matsusei Supermarket, Cheng I Flagrant Lard, Wei Li Fragrant Lard, Taiwan Start Telecom and dizzily miscellaneous products, has become an over-whelming social movement in early October Taiwan. This is due to Ting Hsin got a third allegation within one year, being get involved into the adulterated cooking oil scandal. And the fury of Taiwan society is therefore triggered into an unstoppable trend.

 

 

Rev. Lin Wei-lien, Secretary of PCT Church and Society Committee, points out that the crises due to a series of plasticizer, adulterted chemicals and recycled waste cooking oil are not only problems limited within the issues of food safety, they are actually telling people this government is incompetent to guard against the threat from which is Taiwan people's  most humble request to escape. "An irresponsible government without sympathy is the ultimate source of people's sufferings!", said Rev. Lin.

 

 

Rev. Lin urges Christians to read some verses of Leviticus in Old Testament again in order to think afresh about the relationship between food and cleanse. "Except harshly criticizing the greedy merchants sacrificing public health and making glaring profits, through producing gene-modified foods or adulterating chemical additives, Christians should also think if his or her job is compliant to the biblical implication of cleanse? if he or she does the job following the rule honestly without cheating?", warned Rev. Lin, illegal adulterated oil or food stuffs are actually murder cases in disguise, though not causing immediate harm to the victims yet fatal in the long run.


 

Therefore, Ting Hsin International Group not only should be prosecuted for all their devastating crimes to poison Taiwan public for years, a comprehensive and through civil compensation project from this covetous conglomerate requires to be imposed as soon as possible, pleads Rev. Lin.

 

 

Rev. Lee Hsin-ku, Secretary of Church and Society Committee of Kaohsiung Presbytery, remarks that Taiwan public could at least blockade the malignant manufactures from such black-heartened conglomerate: no buy or no use o their produce, especially when the Ma administration is proven incompetent to protect the basic well-being of Taiwan public.

 

 

Rev. Du Chien-suen, Secretary of Church and Society Committee of Cha-yi Presbytery, thinks that the significance of current food safety crisis points to some urgent warnings: "The mind of the Taiwanese is fallen sick", and "our normative values are seriously twisted". Beyond the overwheming blockade of the products manufactured by Ting Hsin International Group, the conscientiousness of Taiwan society needs to be summoned and borne again!

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

Linfenying Milk, the famous milk brand in Wei Chuan Food Company within THIG, used to be the most hot sale product among others; now it is stock piled on the shelf in Taiwan's October market.

 

 

Photo by Hsei Jen-ming

 

 
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